Guess who finally got herself a daily driver to put miles and miles on! That’s right, I am the proud owner of a new Mazda3 hatchback as my daily driver.

I started a new job in February and my daily commute increased by 50 miles–and that’s just to work and back. Parking is a mess, and all the parking garages are a tad too short for my Jeep, and parking is expensive in this area of Miami. This forces me to park on the street, which costs me about double what a parking garage would. Gotta love Miami, right? So I finally took the plunge and bought a daily.

I bought my new Mazda from Mazda of North Miami on a rainy Sunday afternoon. I went into the dealer knowing the exact car I wanted down to the VIN, and exactly how much I wanted to pay for it, out the door. The salesman who assisted me with my purchase, Javier, was incredibly nice and respectful. After a lot of haggling, and a lot of help from my dad, I was able to get the price I wanted for the car. What I hate about car salesmen is they always try to upsell you the next model, or extra features, or extra warranties, extra everything. I am appreciative that Javier respected me enough to acknowledge I was a serious buyer and had done my research, and already knew what the right car for me was.

The Mazda advertises 37 mpg highway and I am getting exactly that. This is 2.5 times the gas mileage I get in my Jeep! The Mazda has a backup camera (which are now federally mandated on all cars), and a nice big screen for the radio display. It also came with Bluetooth as part of the most basic model. This may seem silly, but coming from the Jeep life, these features WOW’d me. I wasn’t expecting so much for the base model package!

Luckily for me, I have already paid off my Jeep and don’t have to worry about a car payment, so this daily driver purchase is possible. Not having a car payment has been nice, but the money that I will be saving in gas and parking will be enough to pay for the monthly payment, the gas on the Mazda, AND the insurance. The pay increase of my new job also offsets the cost of the new car. I am so fortunate to be able to do this! Although the Mazda is boring to drive, and it’s a pretty basic average car, having a daily will save me money in gas, and save my Jeep from a lot of extra mileage, which is a big advantage if I ever decide to sell it (never).

Now I will be able to wheel my Jeep harder, with less fear that I’ll destroy my main (or only) method of transportation. However, I know I am going to be tempted to take my Jeep to the next level with modifications (did someone say stretch!?), but I am going to try to hold off for a bit before I go crazy ;).

Update: It’s been less than a month since I’ve had the Mazda so far and I have over 2,000 miles on it. Ouch.

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